Moral identity development and community

M. Kyle Matsuba, Theresa Murzyn, Daniel Hart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Morality, in its essence, requires agents whose needs and desires are embedded in social relationships, social institutions, and social groups. Without agents reflectively pursuing goals while aware that others are similarly motivated, there can be machines in motion but no morality (Flanagan, 1991). Relationships, communities, and cultures, therefore, make up the moral space in which life is lived because social life provides the meanings necessary for moral decisions (Taylor, 1989). In this chapter, we focus on the intersections of identity, community, and development, and weave together research that illuminates the development of each. In previous works, we have explored identity, development, and morality (e.g., Hart, 2005). However, in this chapter we add a focus on moral identity development in the context of community. While there are many conceptions of community, our focus is sociological with an emphasis on common expectations, values, and beliefs that people share and that influence their identity and selfhood (Smith, 2001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Moral Development, Second Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781136673160
ISBN (Print)9781848729599
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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